Areas of Focus
The Supply Chain and Logistics Institute hosts a series of monthly seminars open to interested SCL faculty, students and corporate partners as well as the general public. If you are interested in attending any of the sessions, please review the below information and register online.
Sessions take place on the main Georgia Tech campus in Atlanta (please review the session description for location details) and will also be broadcast via Zoom.
In-person attendance to our SCL IRC sessions is complimentary for SCL corporate partners, SCL Industry Advisory Board members, SCL affiliated faculty and students, and students enrolled in the Masters in Supply Chain Engineering program. If you are a member of the general public attending in-person who would like to participate in lunch, we ask that you pay a $5 fee. Virtual attendance is always free.
Click here to jump to past seminars with links to available recordings
Barbara Jones of Freeing Returns and Michael Malakhov of Carpool Logistics (Panelists). Alex Rhodeen, Supply Chain Catalyst, ATDC (Moderator)
We will hear from two seasoned founders of supply chain organizations who navigated the ups and downs of building a company from scratch. They will share their personal experiences and insights into the challenges and successes and their early experiences of being part of the Advanced Technology Development Center (ATDC).
About the ISyE Building Complex for in-person attendance.
Our current energy systems are undergoing a significant shift from fossil carbon burning to the utilization of current sunlight. There is the misconception that this shift also implies that we have to stop using carbon-based fuels as energy carriers. What mix of energy carriers will be optimal for our future energy systems, and possibly more importantly what mix can we use during the next 30-40 years as we transition from fossil to renewable is still a very open question. In this talk I will describe how we might couple renewable energy to carbon-based fuels through systems of direct air capture of CO2 and subsequent conversion. Even within this space there is significant potential diversity of molecules that can be used, for example methanol is currently gaining favor in the shipping industry, but it could be that traditional hydrocarbons are a better fit due to the existing infrastructure.
In this talk, we will share a vision for the future of the built-environment, which is smart, inter-connected, and both user-and environmental-conscious. We will also discuss the challenges that need to be overcome to realize this vision and the innovative trends and emerging technologies that will facilitate the transformation of the construction industry.
Robotic systems have been very successful in performing tasks where the inputs are well defined and known in advance. Automotive and electronic manufacturing are the classic success stories where robotic systems have demonstrated incredible value for the industry. In unstructured manufacturing, the inputs of the system can vary significantly, but the outputs of the system are defined. Food and agriculture production are examples of this type of unstructured manufacturing problem, but traditional manufacturing is also moving in this direction as robotics move beyond welding and painting. This presentation will give examples of systems that integrate advanced perception and control technologies into robotic systems to perform complex tasks like cutting, grasping, and manipulation of objects in an unstructured environment.
In this talk, we will discuss the recent progress in logistics-inspired modeling and optimization for space mission design. We will demonstrate several examples of the applications of mathematical optimization to spacecraft and mission design. We will further discuss the methods to evaluate and analyze the design and operational strategies for in-space infrastructure systems in the contexts of human/robotic space exploration, on-orbit servicing, and satellite constellation missions.
Yi-Chang James Tsai, Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering
There are great opportunities to apply emerging technologies, including smart sensors, spatial-temporal analysis, and Artificial Intelligence to provide energy-efficient, eco-friendly, and safe transportation solutions. Dr. Tsai will present his research team’s work on collaborating with federal and state transportation agencies, as well as multinational automobile and logistics companies. This work aims to provide an integrated solution to monitor, predict, and optimize vehicle logistics, energy-emission efficiency, and safety by studying the interaction between vehicles and the transportation infrastructure using the developed GT smart data collection and advanced computing framework.
A technical in-depth discussion around how AI and Machine Learning is transforming enterprises by optimizing planning processes.
We will dive deeper into using advanced supply chain analytics to optimize cost to service, inventory, and service level tradeoffs. This demo will show how o9’s complex platform uses performance analytics and data management combined with AI rule-based micro segmentation to provide prescriptive outputs to operational supply chain planning.
What exactly is a Control Tower? How do perturbation in supply, capacity, and demand affect decision in the near term horizon? And, how does it drive value to businesses? This lecture will dive deeper into the o9 platform to discuss how technology can turn supply chains into a prescriptive machine by linking demand opportunities and supply disruptions, such as shipment or production delays, with revenue, margin, and service level tradeoffs.
We will discuss the top challenges and supply chain disruptions o9 is seeing in the market right now, especially in these post-COVID times. o9 will share how they are solving these problems by walking through specific customer stories and giving a high overview into what makes the o9 platform the most innovative next-generation Integrated Business Planning solution on the market.
The success of on-demand platforms to obtain a ride, e.g., Uber and Lyft, which rely on crowd-sourced transportation capacity, has radically changed the view on the potential and benefits of crowd-sourced transportation and delivery. Many retail stores, for example, are examining the pros and cons of introducing crowd-sourced delivery in their omni-channel strategies. We discuss recent trends in this rapidly evolving area, and highlight challenges and opportunities.
Urban air mobility (UAM) with electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft is emerging as a promising aviation market for both cargo delivery and passenger travel. The rise of UAM is being driven by the convergence of two technologies: autonomy and electric aircraft propulsion. Although promising, these technologies place limits on the discovery of viable markets, the timeline of introduction, and the design of operational paradigms. In particular, electric propulsion—when achieved with battery energy storage—is highly constraining in terms of aircraft payload, range, and speed performance and in terms of operational tempo and ground infrastructure. This talk will discuss recent work in modeling aircraft performance and operations for UAM and will highlight the challenges and opportunities in particular urban markets.
Last-mile delivery (i.e., the delivery of merchandise to a store or end user), is a prime target for digital transformation. It is the most expensive and fastest growing leg of the supply chain and often the most critical to customer satisfaction. Unfortunately, it is also the most complex leg of the supply chain. We will discuss the delivery characteristics and trends that make digital transformation a necessity. We will also discuss the five stages of digital transformation necessary to optimize delivery systems: 1. Data digitization; 2. Business intelligence; 3. Predictive analytics; 4. Automated delivery planning; and Adaptive management. Finally, we will examine the advances in technology that enable transformation of last-mile delivery.
Dr. Keith Duggar, Principal Industry Technology Strategist at Microsoft Corporation, is a Georgia Tech and MIT alum who works with enterprise manufacturing companies to envision, architect, and execute digital transformation including all technological aspects of Connected Intelligent Enterprise. He brings 20+ Years of Quantitative Data Analytics, Machine Learning, and Applied Math experience and 10+ Years of High Performance Low Latency Decentralized Computing, Data Modeling, Data System Design, and Data Strategy experience.
Though building a Connected Intelligent Supply Chain can seem daunting, we say Think Big, Start Small, Move Fast. To that end, the Microsoft Azure ecosystem provides platforms, products, and services to accelerate incremental building of hybrid solutions no matter the scale. From Industrial IoT to Blockchain to Modern Workplace to Business Intelligence and Visualization to Augmented Reality, Microsoft spans the entire breadth and depth of digital transformation. Finally, layering AI into these solutions to further drive insight, safety, and value has never been easier than it is today on Azure with Cognitive Services and Azure Machine Learning.
The Hunter River region on Australia’s east coast is home to the world’s largest coal export operation. More tons of coal are exported each year from the port of Newcastle, at the mouth of the Hunter River, than from any other port in the world. Coal exported is mined by more than 10 competing producers operating upward of 40 mines, but uses shared infrastructure to reach the port, be blended into final products held in stockyards and loaded onto vessels at berth. The shared infrastructure, which consists of rail lines, trains, stockyards, stockpile stacking and reclaiming machinery, berths, vessel loading machinery, the river channel and tug boats, is owned and/or operated by several different organizations. All of these organizations must coordinate their activities so as to deliver coal in an effective and efficient way. In this talk, we will discuss how collaboration between the many stakeholders has been shaped and evolved, how collaboration has been essential to the delivery of productivity gains in this complex logistics system, and will touch on the critical role analytics and the tools of operations research have played.
There are numerous opportunities in utilizing quantitative methods in health and humanitarian systems. There are often limited resources and multiple stakeholders in these settings, and efficient and effective decision-making is important for resource utilization as well as improved outcomes for individuals or populations. We will discuss a few examples of the applications of quantitative methods in health and humanitarian systems, such as pre-positioning inventory for disaster preparedness, post-disaster debris management, intervention strategies and resource allocation for disease management, and allocation of healthcare workers to geographic areas.
Frederick Benaben, Professor - IMT Mines Albi - Industrial Engineering Research Center - FRANCE
Model-Driven Engineering (MDE) is meant, above other usages mainly in software design, to support the process of system design, especially the transitions and the coherency between models of different levels and different point of views. In the presentation, Dr. Benaben will introduce an original and innovative Artificial Intelligence (AI) framework dedicated to include MDE in AI technologies. An instantiation of this framework on the domain of crisis management will be presented as an illustrative example of providing sentience, agility and resilience in the handling of an instable situation. Then, the usage of this research framework will be extended to provide avenues and perspectives in ways to connect Industrial Engineering and Artificial Intelligence to support (collaborations of) organizations, decision making and management of organizations.
Modern warehouses, factories and supply chains are becoming enormously complex systems. Historically, the design and control of these systems has depended upon evolution and refinement over time to achieve high levels of performance. As a consequence, we do not have the legacy of engineering design that is found in digital circuits, automobiles or airplanes. But that situation is changing, albeit slowly. This talk will describe the changes that are taking place, and what they mean for our research and teaching missions.
Alan Amling, Vice President Corporate Strategy, UPS
E-commerce, globalization and urbanization, combined with new technologies and business models, are disrupting industry stalwarts. Today, no company is immune from disruption. How should companies respond? Can disruption be a launching pad to a better future? Learn how UPS is staying ahead of disruption and thriving using the example of 3D printing, a game-changing technology that represents both challenge and opportunity for companies around the globe. Lessons learned will be shared.
Cliff Pyron, Chief Commercial Officer, Georgia Ports Authority
We will discuss a general global perspective, and then a North America focus on current and future supply chain challenges relative to infrastructure constraints. An overview of omni-channel dynamics in serving related logistics needs will also be covered. Lastly, any China/US trade tariff situations that might still be in play can be discussed.
Urban logistics automation is collapsing traditional boundaries between storage and delivery, extending the warehouse presence in the built environment. At the same time, the growth of e-commerce combined with logistics' need to avoid pauses or "friction" means that unprecedented volumes of goods are in near constant motion. This talk explores the potential of e-commerce driven changes to supply chain logistics, as well as consumer and business purchasing patterns, to alter the pattern of warehousing and more within metropolitan areas. There are a broad range of accompanying impacts for urban and local economic development. These include impacts on retail stores, warehouses, land-uses, transportation networks, workforce, policy and regulations (e.g., zoning). They are distinguishable by whether they impact most the "last-mile" aspect of supply chain and logistics, or the larger supply chain network linked to distribution and fulfillment centers.
The convergence of several technology enablers, including ubiquitous connectivity, autonomous vehicles, and sophisticated analytics, provides unique opportunities to fundamentally transform mobility in the next decade. Ride-sourcing services have already modernized taxi services but they have also increased congestion and widened inequalities in accessibility. This talk looks at mobility from a logistics and supply chain angle and presents novel on-demand mobility services that have the potential to be scalable, and sustainable, handling both the first/last mile problem and congestion. Case studies will also be presented.
E-retail is a highly competitive segment that constantly demands innovation and process improvement. One such innovation rapidly gaining traction is same-day delivery (SDD); large e-retailers like Amazon are quite active in SDD, and over half of all US retailers claim to offer some form of the service. This talk surveys some of our recent and ongoing work studying the distribution component of SDD systems, and includes both (1) operational questions faced by dispatchers, e.g. when should vehicles be dispatched and what orders should they deliver, as well as (2) tactical questions faced by managers, e.g. how late in the day should SDD be offered and how big should the delivery fleet be. The talk is based on join work with Alan Erera, Mathias Klapp (now at PUC Chile) and Alex Stroh.
A special session where two early stage companies will talk individually about their unique characteristics/problems solved. Our speaker from Sudu will present "How startups are pushing the Future of Transportation" to discuss how technology is making its way into the transportation industry and changing the way large corporations do business. Our speaker from Autit will present "The Intelligent Manufacturing Enterprise" where we will discuss the opportunities for frontier technologies (AI/ML) to enhance Legacy ERP platforms and how Autit is leading the way with data harmonization and predictive inventory for parts in manufacturing supply chains.
Whether measured by expected market valuation, speed of technological change, or potential of data collection and analytics, smart cities development has become a vital area of growth for governments, the public and corporations a like. However, the development has not been as inclusive and more action needs to be undertaken to ensure that all communities can reap the benefits of smart development. This talk will explore what smart cities means for Georgia Tech, how GT is broaden the opportunities for smart communities, including the current and upcoming projects, and further plans to drive smart community thought leadership.
The Physical Internet (PI) opens many more options to deliver goods to the end destination, thanks to interconnected services. To exploit such opportunities, routing algorithms must be developed at different levels to make the PI work. In this lecture, the levels will be defined and results obtained will be compared to traditional dedicated solutions. Two main point of views will be distinguished: the shipper (how to specify routing request) and the services provider (how to publish services and make agreements). The main PI principles will be presented as well as their impacts on algorithms, data requirements and performance. Initial results show the potential, but also uncover many research opportunities for services providers to develop new services and shippers to operate their supply chain with the PI.
Modern distribution systems need to fulfill a wide variety of requests quickly with little warning in small units to many dispersed locations at low costs. This is fundamentally different than yesterday’s demand, which aggregated at fixed (store) locations. Existing distribution solutions, which are often static and have long decision lead times, are too rigid for today’s customers. Resulting in today’s supply chains being optimized for yesterday’s customers. To close the gap between current supply chain operations and customer expectations, this research rethinks supply chain design. By accessing resources on-demand, rather than through ownership, on-demand distribution platforms enable elastic supply capacity that can be scaled up and down, as well as moved in response to changing requirements. Yet, capacity cannot be set. Instead it must be enticed from suppliers (who provide access to their resources). Current centralized approaches to platform design excel at meeting demand commitments, but limit supplier autonomy. Decentralized approaches provide supplier autonomy, but sacrifice systematic performance and are time consuming. This research proposes a new hierarchical approach, recasting the platform's role as one providing personalized recommendations (i.e., a menu of multiple requests) to suppliers. Link to full abstract
In this talk we will explore the possibilities of machine learning in supply chains and logistics. We will see that modern machine learning methods, often in a black box fashion, allow us to move from model-driven decision-making to data-driven decision-making. This results in high levels of flexibility and agility, which is of ever-increasing importance in fast-paced supply chain and logistics environments. We will lay out the foundation of this paradigm and look at specifics examples from the supply chain and logistics context.
The commoditization of sensor packages along with ubiquitous wireless communications has combined to make the Internet of Things a reality. The supply chain and logistics fields are undergoing dramatic changes based from the introduction of these technologies. We will look at some examples and opportunities to leverage the widespread availability of fine-grained, real-time data. We will also discuss challenges that must be addressed as these technologies are adopted.
The seminar will introduce City Logistics and describe recent models developed for improving the sustainability of goods movement in Melbourne, including a collaborative freight system for suppliers distributing goods to retailers as well as a Central Business District (CBD) routing system for couriers.
Distribution systems in metropolitan regions are typically characterized by suppliers operating their own vehicle fleets, distributing only their goods to their customers on a regular basis. In sectors where there are multiple suppliers servicing common customers, there is an opportunity to develop collaborative systems and combine distribution networks to reduce the distance traveled by delivery vehicles. This can result in substantial savings in transport operating costs as well as environmental costs.
In practice, firms are often faced with pricing challenges including high demand uncertainty, limited inventory, and restrictions to conduct price experimentation. In this talk, I will discuss models and algorithms that combine machine learning and price optimization. The key idea of these algorithms is to use real-time sales data to improve pricing decisions. I will report simulation and field experiment results that show significant revenue improvement using these methods.
Additive manufacturing (AM) technologies build parts directly from digital data without any specialized or custom tooling. In the AM approach, a 3-D blueprint for an item can be downloaded from the cloud, and the item can be constructed immediately on-site, using 3-D printing equipment and feedstock materials. AM eliminates multiple time-consuming and expensive steps while significantly simplifying goods transport. AM will thus eliminate or reduce multiple supply chain tiers. The global supply base and the manufacturing landscape will be dramatically impacted through the increasing industrial adoption of AM. In this session, we will discuss the evolution of AM, some recent applications, and its impact as it relates to logistics and supply chain.
Companies are measuring and reporting their supply chain energy use, greenhouse gas emissions, and other environmental metrics. The first part of the talk will overview what is being measured and reported in a selection of industries - who, what, where, when, why, and how. The second part will focus on approaches for reducing these impacts, challenges in quantifying them, and methods for improvement.
We will discuss the use of simulation as a tool for analyzing and improving supply chain performance. In particular, we will show how simulation can be used to (i) evaluate the effectiveness and robustness of a particular supply chain implementation, and (ii) compare the performance of competing supply chain strategies.
The exponential growth of eCommerce has made it even more critical for organizations to manage profitability alongside an increasing demand from individual consumers to receive product within days using non-traditional delivery methods. In this session, we will discuss modern last mile logistics (LML) and the changing landscape and complexities that drive research into different approaches and methodologies. We will cover some of the basics of LML organization and optimization as well as recent advancements and approaches to same-day and urban delivery.
Supply chain models have mainly focused on understanding demand and optimizing supply networks for raw materials and finished goods. Attempts have been made to apply some of these classic models to optimize spare parts logistics. However, the most significant factors that drive demand for spare parts are often overlooked. These factors include reliability and industrial predictive analytics of equipment and machinery. Advances in sensor technology have enabled remote monitoring of geographically dispersed industrial assets, especially those that are considered critical and/or capital intensive (e.g. gas turbines, jet engines, generators, etc.). The sensor data can be used to remotely assess the state of health of the asset. This talk highlights a framework that utilizes sensor-based asset monitoring data and reliability analysis to optimize spare parts logistics and maintenance operations.